15 Sep New £5 note launched
The new £5 note entered into circulation on 13 September 2016 and is the first note issued in England to be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic. It will take a few weeks for the notes to become commonplace across the country. The new plastic £5 note will feature the image of Sir Winston Churchill.
In tandem with the launch of the new £5 note the process of withdrawing the current paper £5 notes from circulation will begin. The paper £5 notes will remain as legal tender until May 2017 after which they will need to be exchanged at the Bank of England.
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said:
'The new fiver, made of polymer, will be cleaner, safer and stronger. Resistant to dirt and moisture, it will stay in good condition for longer. The new security features make it harder to counterfeit, while the use of polymer means it can better withstand being repeatedly folded into wallets or scrunched-up inside pockets.'
The new £5 note is the first of the Bank of England’s new series of polymer notes. The £10 and £20 notes will also be replaced over the coming years. The £10 note will be introduced next summer and will feature Jane Austen and the new £20 note will feature JMW Turner and is expected to enter circulation by 2020. There are no plans to replace the current £50 note featuring Boulton and Watt.
The three Scottish banks are also printing their next £5 and £10 notes on polymer. Clydesdale Bank will be issuing a polymer £5 on 27th of September, the Bank of Scotland on 4th of October and RBS on 27th October 2016. The Royal Mint will be issuing a new £1 coin in March 2017.